Welcome to our blog chronicling life at The Little School. The blog will be a window into our school. There are many stories to tell about The Little School. In this blog you will follow projects, meet people, see creations, and enjoy discussions.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Garden Days 2014
TLS Duke:Saturday, April 26(9:00-3:00, lunch served from 11:00-1:00)
TLS Hillsborough:Saturday, May 17 (9:00-3:00, lunch served from 11:00-1:00)
Meet Liane Salgado
This Spring The Little
School is putting a special focus on expanding the edibles we grow here on our
grounds.We are also moving towards
choosing bushes, trees and other plants which are native to the area and
attract birds and pollinators.To help
us design our gardens and grounds, we are working with permaculture designer
and organic farmer, Liane Salgado.Liane
undertook doctoral work and received her Masters in ecology and evolutionary biology,
reflecting a deep interest she has had in ecology and systems thinking since
her teenage years.She serves as a
teacher and leader at the Carrboro Community Gardens, turned her own yard into
an organic farm to grow produce in a cooperative venture with Vimala’s Curryblossom
Café in Chapel Hill, and now uses some of this space to cultivate a food
forest.She has studied permaculture design and
shares this knowledge as a leader and teacher with Carrboro Greenspace, where
she organizes and presents seminars on community-driven sustainability
So, what is permaculture anyway?
Permaculture involves the integration of human activities into a living
ecosystem.It comes from the words “permanent
culture” as it aims to create environments which are permanently sustainable.As a permaculture designer, I would look at
all of the processes occurring on a given site – such as food, water, energy,
waste, teaching, learning, playing – and work towards integrating those
processes into the surrounding natural and human environment to move towards
more sustainable solutions.For example,
when we are choosing plants for the playgrounds of the school we would select
plants that could be considered invasive in other settings because they just
grow and grow and take over.Kids
running feet will keep these fast-growing plants in check, while they would kill
less hardy plants.
Can you tell me a little bit
about organic gardening practices?
Well, until the 40s and 50s all gardening was organic gardening.It is a very recent phenomenon to use chemical
fertilizers and pesticides.Organic
gardening uses natural sources of nutrition, such as compost, rather than
chemical fertilizers.To keep pests and
disease at bay an organic gardener will use natural approaches such as mixing up the plants grown in an area and
rotating them from year to year.When you
grow all of one type of plant in an area year after year the bugs and diseases
that live off of those plants will discover this great habitat and eat all of
your produce before you can harvest.
You have done a lot of
community-based training in these areas.How are you finding working with a preschool?
It’s very gratifying to me to think about young kids being exposed to
gardening in the environment where they spend so much of their time.There is quite a bit of research which shows
that when young children are given the opportunity to grow plants, and then get
to take care of them and sometimes even eat them, they develop a greater
understanding and appreciation of nature and are more likely to eat and enjoy
those vegetables.On the permaculture
side, I love the thought of creating ever denser and more intricate living
systems on the school grounds.Kids’
innate curiosity and attraction to all things living will turn these spaces
into de facto outdoor classrooms with many and varied opportunities to teach
about the vibrant ecosystem right here at The Little School.
Liane will be on hand at both
Garden Days to direct activities, answer questions and provide guidance.We invite all of our families to come out for
as little or as long as you like.